Essays Examining Hawai`i's Longline Fishery

dc.contributor.advisor Lynham, John Medoff, Sarah N.
dc.contributor.department Economics 2021-07-29T23:16:10Z 2021-07-29T23:16:10Z 2021 Ph.D.
dc.subject Environmental economics
dc.subject bigeye tuna
dc.subject fishery
dc.subject Hawaii
dc.subject longline
dc.subject marine policy
dc.subject yellowfin tuna
dc.title Essays Examining Hawai`i's Longline Fishery
dc.type Thesis
dcterms.abstract Fisheries are a textbook example of market failure in which rational behavior does not necessarily lead to socially optimal outcomes. Instead, individual incentives often lead to over-exploitation of marine species. Regulations attempt to mitigate against the tragedy of the commons but do not always succeed. The essays in this dissertation examine a variety of regulatory tools that are used in the Hawaii longline fishery. Estimating the spillover benefits of Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) is complicated by endogeneity and selection biases. Most causal evidence of spillover benefits has come from relatively small MPAs. The potential for large MPAs to provide a refuge (and subsequent spillover) for highly migratory species has traditionally been doubted because most MPAs are small relative to the range of highly pelagic species. In the first chapter, we test for evidence of biological spillovers accruing from the world’s largest, fully no-take MPA, Papah\={a}namoku\={a}kea Marine National Monument (PMNM). We account for differences in migratory patterns across species and heterogeneity across fishing boats by employing species-specific difference-in-differences models with boat fixed effects. Using independent observer data, we compare catch-per-unit-effort near and from the MPA for the exact same vessel before and after expansion of the MPA. Though the large-scale expansion of PMNM occurred fairly recently, our findings suggest evidence of positive spillover benefits for yellowfin and bigeye tuna, the main target species in this region. We observe the same results using logbook data self-reported by boat captains. The stringency of environmental regulation of tuna production in the Pacific Ocean varies temporally, spatially, and cross-sectionally for US-registered firms. In the second chapter, we use this variation, which is exogenous to changes in trade policy, to test a central tenet of the Pollution Haven Hypothesis: more stringent environmental regulation causes firms to relocate to less regulated regions and may not reduce aggregate environmental harm. Double- and triple-difference tests on changes in daily production decisions provide causal evidence in support of the hypothesis. Firms relocate over 600 miles within a few weeks of new regulatory measures. We do not observe reductions in aggregate environmental damage and, in some years, more stringent regulations cause more environmental harm than would be observed in the absence of these regulations. In the final chapter, we identify exogenous shifts in market supply of fish by utilizing extreme weather events out at sea to obtain an unbiased estimate of the inverse price elasticity of demand for Pacific bigeye tuna. Utilizing a standard ordinary least squares model, we tend to overestimate the elasticity of demand. Once correcting for endogeneity, we find demand for bigeye tuna to be more inelastic.
dcterms.extent 142 pages
dcterms.language en
dcterms.publisher University of Hawai'i at Manoa
dcterms.rights All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
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